Big guns vie for Amritsar airpor
THE DEVELOPMENT of Amritsar airport has received expressions of interest from a number of companies including Reliance Energy, Tata Group, Emaar MGF, GE, Gammon, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Unitech and DS Constructions. With the last date for the request for qualification being extended to January 14, more companies are expected to submit proposals. The airport is one of the 35 non-metro airports to be developed through public-private participation. The Airports Authority of India had decided last October to undertake commercial operation and maintenance of the terminal building and development of the city side, including cargo facilities, of the Amritsar airport through public private participation on a commercial operation, maintenance, development and transfer basis. For developing a floor area of 41,000 square metres comprising the terminal building and city side of over 30 acres, more than seven companies and three international airports have given initial expressions of interest, according to AAI sources. Operation and maintenance of the commercial space in the building, developing and managing the cargo facility and city side development are the basic demands of the AAI the private companies will have to fulfil. According to sources, DLF, along with Fraport, has given its proposal to the AAI while the Tata group has bid for the project along with Changi Airport and Larsen & Toubro has joined hands with Zurich Airport. When contacted, L&T denied any association and instead, an executive, who did not wish to be named, said the company had bid for the airport development on its own. “We have submitted our expression of interest for developing Amritsar airport and are keenly exploring more such opportunities. In this airport, the scope of work is for the non-aeronautical operations, including city side development,” said D S Constructions general manager Rafi Q Khan. While Reliance Energy’s association with any international airport is unclear at the moment, company executives agree to have submitted its proposal for developing the Amritsar airport. Sources in the AAI also said a number of other companies, including Emaar MGF, have bid for the project. “This is a request for qualification and we have submitted our proposal. We have formed a consortium comprising Emaar MGF, Emaar, GE & Gammon with Emaar MGF being the lead member,” said an official communiqué from Emaar MGF. “The date for receiving the requests for qualification has been extended to January 14. From this, the number of companies may be reduced,” said Amritsar airport director Arun Talwar, while adding the possibility of more companies applying. According to reports, K Raheja group, Nagarjuna Construction Ltd, Unitech Ltd, GMR group and GVK group have also bid.